Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hanover Boys Hoops Tops Norwell for Amaral Tournament Title

By Nate Rollins (@n_rollins1)

HANOVER, Mass. - Hanover stepped on the gas pedal early and never let up, en route to a 60-48 victory over rival Norwell to capture the 2016 Edward M. Amaral Memorial Tournament Wednesday evening.

“It feels great,” Hanover head coach Nick Hannigan said of the win. “It’s never fun playing them because they’re very well coached, they’re so disciplined. They’re never out of it. It’s a great win and great testament to how well we played.”

Hanover (6-1) guard J.P. Landry (30 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists) came up clutch in a myriad of ways, from nailing a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining before halftime, to breaking through a swarming Clippers full court press for an easy bucket, in guiding the Indians to their third straight win.

“That’s the best I’ve seen him play,” Hannigan said of Landry. “Anyone who can put 30 up in a game is worth noting. But more than that was his defensive presence. A lot of their pick and roll stuff was hurting us early, but all of a sudden he adapted, and every time they made the pass he was tipping it.”

Landry was a thorn in the Clippers' side all game, and his basket off a foul with 2:28 to go in the first quarter pushed the Indians ahead 10-5, forcing a Norwell (3-1) timeout.

At the end of the first, Landry had more points (10) than the entire Clippers club (9), and the Indians led 15-9.

Norwell opened the second quarter with three turnovers less than two minutes in, as Hanover went on a 5-0 run and pushed its advantage to 20-9 with 5:44 to go before the half.

However, the Clippers countered with a run of their own to trim the Hanover lead to 24-19.

Landry (15 points in first half) continued to exploit the Clipper defense, and netted five points in the final 57.2 seconds of the quarter to push the Indian lead back to 29-20.

“J.P. and Landry helped us with their shooting early,” Hannigan said. “If we got off to a good start, I felt like if we were good enough shooting-wise to get them out of that zone, we would be in good shape.”

The Indians opened the third quarter knocking down four of their first seven shots, and Matt Delahunt's (15 points, 5 rebounds) trey pushed them ahead 41-25.

Hanover connected on eight 3-pointers and limited Norwell to three makes, all coming in the second half, from beyond the arc.

Captain Connor Grant led the Clippers attack with a team-high 16 points and seven boards.

Patrick Flynn scored six points and grabbed four rebounds as Aaron Boise chipped in five points off the bench in the win.

At the conclusion of the game, Grant (Norwell) and Delahunt (Hanover) were selected to the All Tournament Team, and Landry (Hanover) was named Tournament MVP.

Norwell next squares off against the Sachems in Middleboro Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Hanover will hit the road for a matchup against Patriot League foe North Quincy Friday, Jan. 6th at 7 p.m.

“We look forward to the rest,” Hannigan said. “We look forward to the time off. We’ll be able to get back to basics and kind of fine-tune some things that we don’t do so well yet.”

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